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A minor


Thursday, November 27, 2003

Audioblogging Test Results

Well, audblog worked fine. However, I wanted to see if a recording could be edited once posted, published, and deleted, and the answer was no to all three. I didn't think I would be able to recover my audio post once I deleted it, but my free, one-minute trial recording wasn't anything original - I just read Psalm 126, the shortest selection in the Revised Common Lectionary's Thanksgiving Day, Year B.

(Non-Blogger users might be interested in this news/sample post.)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thanksgiving Geeky

Something just seems wrong about sitting up the night before Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving Eve?) 'til the wee hours adding items to your Amazon wish list, but that's what I did. (Tim made me do it! Or, more truthfully, IMing with him about books provoked me.) I am thankful, though, not just wishful. And as far as that goes, I use my Amazon wish list more as a means of keeping track of books that interest me - so I won't "lose" or forget them - more than as a wish list per se. Anyway, check out my updated list if you so desire.

In other news, I plan to post a trial audblog from Hollie's parents', where we will be having Thanksgiving dinner, so stay tuned. Hopefully I won't just ramble on - I'd rather read something, perhaps something Thanksgiving-ish, so if you have any suggested readings or anything in particular you'd like to hear read (as long as it's short and in English), by all means, comment. No promises, though. I might not even get it to work.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Mother Church

I just (finally) finished reading Carl Braaten's Mother Church: Ecclesiology and Ecumenism. I had read most of it, but only skimmed some of the last third before getting distracted by life and temporarily putting it down. If you are at all interested in ecclesiology and ecumenism, the tragic aspect of the Reformation and the dangers of Protestantism, the current state of the church and of theology, or just a learned Lutheran perspective on these things, you must read this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have every intention of rereading it, but first, I have two more Braaten titles on the way (one co-authored and one co-edited by Jenson) - and if they're half as rich as this one, I will be as happy as a clam.

For now, though, I'm back to Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James and, intermittently, to The Churching of America, 1776-1990 by Roger Finke & Rodney Stark.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Do They Read Our Guys?

Aaron asked me an interesting question the other day. He said at the outset that he knew next to nothing about Episcopalians, and he had some questions. One of them was, "Do they read our guys?" My immediate response was, "Well, N.T. Wright has largely become one of 'our' guys, and Episcopalians certainly read him since he's a bishop in communion with them!" But as I've mulled it over more the last few days, I'm wondering if there are others? Of course, there are the Reformed Episcopal writers, Bishop Ray Sutton and Dr Gary North; I'm sure there are Episcopalians out there somewhere who read them.

One of the difficulties in any question like this is the generalization of "us" and "them." I'm sure the "us" Aaron had in mind was the particular Reformed axis that runs through Auburn Avenue, Biblical Horizons, Covenant Media Foundation, and Moscow, Idaho - a narrow axis in many ways, to be sure, but surprisingly far reaching, especially when you consider its outside influences. By "them," I would include theological conservatives in the ECUSA and the Anglican Communion, as well as those in orthodox Anglican bodies like the REC and the AMiA.

Are there others of "our guys" that I'm overlooking?

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, November 14, 2003

Archie Wilkins (Revised)

Here's a picture of Remy's newborn son, Stephen Archer Wilkins. What an adorable little fella! See Remy's recently resurfaced page for his reflections on "small beginnings."

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Lutheran Liturgy
As I tried to describe Lutheran liturgy in the previous post, I had a hard time choosing words. In my string of adjectives, "liturgical, celebratory, musical," I initially had the words "comfortable" and "confident," which I later simplified to "familial." But I'm still not satisfied with this description. One could say the same things about any number of local liturgical expressions or even entire liturgical traditions.

Personally, I can only really compare Lutheran liturgy to Reformed/Presbyterian and Anglican/Episcopalian liturgies. To compare Lutheran to Reformed/Presbyterian, the Lutheran liturgy seems more catholic and, well, more "liturgical" throughout. I'm thinking of things like chanting, acolytes, vestments, communion at an altar rail*, etc. To compare Lutheran to traditional Anglican/Episcopalian, the Lutheran liturgy seems more cheerful - more comfortable and confident in the presence of the Lord and his people - all without necessarily diminishing in reverence.

Does this fit any of your experience, or am I out in left field?

* One place where I think Reformed & Presbyterian liturgies are better is in their doing away with the altar rail. First, there's no reason to believe the Last Supper or the early Christian eucharistic feasts had an altar or kneeling. Second, it's just not meal-like. What kind of real-life meal do you eat in a kneeling posture? And unless you're a child, when does someone feed you?

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, November 10, 2003

Church, Church & More Church
Ethan was sick this weekend and Hollie was up with him last night, so she stayed home this morning and I decided to visit Messiah Lutheran (ELCA), just a stone's throw from our apartment. I would have been late for Grace or Auburn's services, but I arrived at Messiah a few minutes early. The pastor, Dale Farley, welcomed me as I walked in.

I sat down and then stood up to enter the courts of the Lord with the 45 or so saints at Messiah. What a delightful service. I have no desire to become Lutheran, but I love Lutheran liturgy, and every once in a while I need to worship at a Lutheran church. It can be so refreshing. Liturgical, celebratory, musical, familial - I certainly understand why the BH Triumvirate (Jordan, Meyers, and Leithart) are always trying to work stuff into the liturgy from their Lutheran upbringings. (As an aside, the artwork on the front of Messiah's program was in the exact style of the artwork on RLP's blog; I wonder if it was by the same artist?)

I had found and appreciated Pastor Dale Farley's article on local ecumenism, and enjoyed talking with him after the service. He knew about Auburn Avenue, jokingly said he wondered if those people's cars even turned left, and later (interestingly) added that he wasn't surprised that a guy from Auburn Avenue would like Braaten & Jenson.

Pastor Farley is also currently leading St Thomas Episcopal's 8am service since St Thomas' former rector, Walter Baer, recently moved to a church in New Orleans and since the two churches have (not surprisingly) become close. (Fr Baer wasn't really known for conservatism, though, so the Diocese of Louisiana is probably a happier fit than the Diocese of Western Louisiana.)

[Speaking of which...in his recent diocesan convention address, Bishop MacPherson said that he "will not lead this diocese out of the Anglican Communion." He went on to say that "the Episcopal Church (USA) may be moving in what some call a more 'progressive' way, but we are not going in that direction. We will follow the Archbishop of Canterbury and historic Anglicanism." I found it interesting to note that he did not say he won't lead the diocese out of the ECUSA.]

Tonight was Auburn Avenue's Second Sunday evening service (which consists of a time of congregational prayer, a couple Psalms, a church history lecture, and a bring-your-own meal together, followed by a few very familiar hymns), and tonight Pastor Steve lectured on Gerbert - no, not the puppet - the pope during the years 999-1003, aka Pope Sylvester II. Auburn Avenue Second Sunday is always a good time.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, November 8, 2003

N.T. Wright Coming To Monroe In 2005

It's official: N.T. Wright will be the main speaker for the Auburn Avenue Pastors' Conference, January 3-5, 2005.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monroe Shopping*

It's nice to be back in a place with Ross, Target, etc. I've always scored good deals on clothes - much to my wife's chagrin, I beat her at her own game. But it's even easier when there's decent shopping within 5 miles. Last week I got a pair of Rockport dress shoes for $25, and fancy-schmancy brand socks, belt, and tie for, all together, another $25.

I've heard some say that Monroe shopping leaves a lot to be desired, and I'm sure this is true from their perspective. But to them, I say two things: First, move to a place like Moscow for a while. "Shopping? What's that? Oh yeah, that's what we drive 100 miles to Spokane for - that and the airport." Second, imagine Monroe before the economic development began along Thomas Road and Pecanland Mall on I-20 (scroll down). It could be a lot worse.

* or, In Which Jon Runs The Risk Of Seeming As Gay As Gene Robinson

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Inside Source

If you're interested in following the responses to current crisis in the ECUSA and the worldwide Anglican Communion, be sure to add Kendall Harmon's blog to your news reading. Dr Harmon is canon theologian for the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina; associate rector, Christ-St Paul's Parish, Yonges Island, SC; and editor of The Anglican Digest. He and David Bena, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Albany, were the two American Anglican Council representatives sent to New Hampshire over the weekend, according to the AAC press release, "to provide support for New Hampshire Episcopalians grieved by the actions of their diocese and to also stand with them in opposition to the consecration" of Gene Robinson.

I was especially interested to see his post, "Forty Theses on the Future of Anglican Witness in the United States" by Peter Moore, Dean and President of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA.

(I found Kendall Harmon's blog via Clifton Healy's blog, which I found via Ryan Davidson's blog.)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, November 2, 2003

Cheesy Church Sign Sightings

Heading in the wrong direction? God allows U-turns.
- a United Methodist church in Monroe

Are your reservations in eternity for smoking or non-smoking?
- a Southern Baptist church in Monroe

jon :: link :: comment ::

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